The Benevolent Society has secured a sole provider partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to deliver the long-awaited national Disability Gateway.

The new federally funded national service, which launched on Wednesday, will be the central point of information to connect people with disability to support and information, a Benevolent Society spokesman told Community Care Review.

The portal will be a one stop shop for service providers, people with disability and their family and friends and will also include the Disability COVID Hotline.

The service began operating on  January 27, with the 1800 643 787 Disability Gateway information and COVID Hotline number being managed through The Benevolent Society’s national support centre.

It comes after  a report released last October by the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS detailed failings in planning navigation support for people attempting to become NDIS participants.

More work to be done

IDEAS CEO Diana Palmer

National disability information IDEAS has welcome the launch of the gateway saying it has been lobbying for for a national disability  information service for more than five years.

“Access to accurate information services has been requested by people with disabilities and their families and carers for more than a decade and it’s something we have heard consistently across the 30 years we’ve been in operation,” IDEAS executive officer Diana Palmer said.

“To see the Gateway brought into being is a serious beginning,” Ms Palmer said.

“But there is much more work to do to make individual choices more accessible for people in the communities where they live.”

The Benevolent Society last year also began delivering support services to carers in Metropolitan Sydney via the Carers Gateway.

 More information about Disability Gateway can be found here.

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